President Bola Ahmed Tinubu officially began his defence in a petition filed against his election by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, on Tuesday evening in Abuja. The court admitted the educational records from Chicago State University as exhibits.
The admittance letter that the renowned university sent to Tinubu was one of the academic records submitted to prove his attendance at and graduation from the American University.
President Tinubu also presented his US visa credentials, which showed that he had multiple unrestricted trips to the USA between 2011 and 2021, through his lead attorney, Chief Wole Olanipekun.
In addition to providing the court with all of the documentation the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) used to clear him for his trips to the US, Tinubu presented evidence to refute the criminal accusations brought against him in the petition.
The United States of America’s embassy letter from April 4, 2003, which is a response to a letter from the Nigerian Police dated February 3, 2003, in which the police stated that the embassy had no records of Tinubu’s criminal activity in the USA, is also recognised as an exhibit by the court.
Despite PDP and the former Vice President’s adamant opposition to the documents’ respective admissibility, they were admitted.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the petition’s first and third responses, did not raise any issues with the acceptance of any of the papers.
The attorneys general of the states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Sokoto filed a complaint at the Supreme Court questioning Tinubu’s educational qualifications to run for president in 2023. In addition to the educational records, the court also accepted the originating summons of the lawsuit.
Newspaper articles on many lawsuits brought by various groups against Tinubu were also allowed.
The court’s presiding justice, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, has postponed the petition’s subsequent hearing until July 5.